Young, Rich and Loyal

Young, Rich and Loyal

Youth may be wasted on the young, but loyalty-program marketing dollars aren’t. Maritz Loyalty Marketing — one of the largest sources of integrated performance improvement, travel and marketing research services globally — recently released the results of a consumer poll that found the youngest and richest members of the market are the most likely to join loyalty programs, and more importantly, are most likely to make buying decisions based on their membership.

The poll surveyed 1,205 randomly selected adults in the United States.

Maritz found that of young consumers, aged 18-24, almost 89 percent said that their membership in a loyalty program influenced their decisions to do business with that company. Similar figures were found among households with annual incomes of $75,000-$100,000 (86 percent), and households with annual incomes of over $100,000 (86 percent).

Not surprisingly, the most favored type of program varied. For wealthy households, frequent flyer programs were the most popular (52 percent) while younger consumers preferred credit card programs (26 percent) over frequent flyer programs (23 percent). Wealthy households listed free travel as the key motivator, and young consumers preferred discounts.

Younger members (under 35) were more likely to redeem points or miles online than older members.

“Although participation in a rewards program has great benefits for both the consumer and the company offering the program, companies that run rewards programs need to know that loyalty rewards are not all created equal,” Chris Moloney, director of market development and strategy for Maritz told the U.K.-based WiseMarketer. “Companies need to better understand which types of rewards truly drive loyalty.”

Of particular interest: a full 22 percent of adults “don’t really know” the rules of their loyalty programs. A mere 19 percent said they understood their programs “very well.”

“With rewards programs’ popularity growing, the time has never been better for companies to make rewards/loyalty programs stronger and more efficient for consumers in all age and income brackets,” Moloney said.

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